Closing arguments held in sports institute embezzling trial

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) The founder of the Rhode Island-based Institute for International Sport pillaged his creation, a prosecutor argued Monday.

Closing arguments were held in Washington County Superior Court in the trial of Dan Doyle, a former college basketball coach and boxing promoter for Sugar Ray Leonard, who created and ran the institute.

Doyle, of West Hartford, Connecticut, faces 18 counts, including embezzlement and forgery. Prosecutors said Doyle couldn't account for hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants from the Rhode Island state government and gifts from two philanthropists.

Defense attorney Michael Blanchard argued there may be some civil liability resulting from the institute's finances, but no criminal act. He also suggested the institute's board may be to blame.

But prosecutor J. Patrick Youngs told jurors the board existed only on paper and that Doyle ran the institute, which was founded in 1986 with the stated purpose of bringing young people together and advance peace through sports and the arts.

''He created it, and he pillaged it,'' Youngs said.

Youngs pointed to evidence that Doyle had approved his own salary increases and bonuses and had spent institute money on private college tuition bills for his daughters and cosmetic eye surgery.

Blanchard argued everything about Doyle's compensation and benefits at the institute was transparent.

The two-monthlong trial began in September and was briefly delayed when Doyle was hospitalized for an undisclosed medical condition that his family said was related to stress from the case.

Doyle also at one point threatened a sit-in and hunger strike in the courtroom over his complaints that he was not receiving a fair trial.

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